Becoming a care giver might not have been a conscious decision on your part. It may have arrived quietly and unnoticed because you are adult child of your elderly parents who now require care or you may have a special needs child that exacts your constant attention or a friend or spouse has become very ill and needs your support. In any of these situations impact of providing constant care is tremendous.
One of most difficult things about taking on a care giver role is that feeling of isolation, that sense of being all alone. Often times we think we need to do job completely by ourselves, that responsibility lays entirely with us. That’s not true. You can ask for help.
Here’s a few tips that will encourage you to get comfortable asking for and receiving help you need in caring for a loved one.
1. First of all, recognize that care giving can definitely become a very responsible, overwhelming and isolating job. And also recognize that it’s a sign of strength to ask for help. It means that you understand situation and have begun to take a proactive approach to making your life better.
2. Your role may be primary caregiver and with that in mind, it is very important to include your extended family as part of your care giving team. Perhaps your family members could provide some specific help such as handling yard work, preparing some meals, helping with financial issues, taking on primary role so you can get away on vacation.
3. Write down all tasks that need to be done on a weekly basis, ones that you are most concerned about. These may include working outside home, getting to doctor appointments, driving kids to after school activities, laundry, cooking, cleaning, filling out forms, picking up medicines, therapy sessions, regular family duties, etc. When you see them in ‘black and white’ you will quickly realize just why it is you are so tired and why you need to accept any offers of help.